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New Jersey Inshore Saltwater Fishing Report 11-27-17

<b>Keyport</b>

Good striped bass fishing was still clocked aboard, said Capt. Mario from the <b>Down Deep Fleet</b>. On some days, lots of small were mixed in “for lots of action,” he said. On others, bigger bit. Trips hooked the bass on trolled Mojos, livelined bunker, jigs and rubber shads, and open-boat trips are fishing for them daily and at 1 p.m. every Friday and Saturday. On Down Deep’s other boat, blackfishing was up and down, and the water was warm, so the angling wasn’t fantastic yet. But the tautog to 7 ½ pounds came in, and open trips are fishing for them daily. Charters are available for either fishing for up to 15 passengers. Both boats feature heated cabins and galleys.  Sign up for the Short Notice List on <a href="http://downdeepsportfishing.com" target="_blank">Down Deep’s website</a> to be kept informed about special open trips.

A trip blackfished Saturday on the <b>Vitamin Sea</b>, Capt. Frank wrote in an email. The fishing was a grind, landing 10 keepers and an okay number of throwbacks. He hopes that improves, and the trip bounced around to different spots, and the angling was similar at each. A trip was canceled Sunday because of forecasts for gusts to 30 knots. “Hope it wasn’t a mistake,” he wrote. The boat will fish for striped bass when not blackfishing. Striper fishing’s been good, the best in years. Lots of bait could be found in Raritan Bay and the ocean. Frank wouldn’t be surprised if striper fishing lasts until mid-December, maybe longer. “As you can see from <a href=" https://www.facebook.com/vitaminseafishing/" target="_blank">all of our posts on Facebook</a>,” he wrote, every trip’s been limiting out on unders, and bonus stripers have been mixing in. Fun fishing. Saturday is available for a charter, or if no charter books, an open-boat trip will fish for stripers that day. Telephone to reserve. The fishing season’s winding down. Get your dose of Vitamin Sea before it’s finished.

<b>Leonardo</b>

Anglers blackfished on Thanksgiving with <b>Sour Kraut Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Joe said. The fishing was slow, and a trip the next day fished deeper and limited out on the tautog during a decent pick. The ocean was about 50 degrees on the trips, and Joe figures blackfish will push deeper to 17 fathoms in a week. A trip Sunday, on the way to haul the boat for the year, limited on 28- to 29-inch striped bass on Raritan Bay on trolled rubber-shad umbrella rigs. So Sour Kraut wrapped up fishing for the year. Joe thanks anglers who fished aboard this year, and wishes everybody Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

<b>Atlantic Highlands</b>

Was a tough couple of days of striped bass fishing on the <b>Fishermen</b>, a report said Saturday on the party boat’s website. There was no lack of the fish and bait seen, but the bass just didn’t bite well. Stripers rolled along the water surface during most of Saturday’s trip, and the fish-finder read the heck out of them. But only a couple of throwbacks would be hooked. Bunker still schooled Raritan Bay, and this was almost December. Many miles were searched to find stripers that would bite on the trip, but that never panned out. Forecasts looked breezy for Sunday, and maybe that would help, the report said Saturday. Trips are fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Some throwback blackfish and a few keepers were lit into so far today on the party boat <b>Atlantic Star</b>, Capt. Tom said this morning aboard in a phone call. No great shakes, that’s for sure, he said, and weather was windy, but seas weren’t rough where the boat fished. The fishing was similar in past days, and all the daily trips sailed. Saturday was one of the toughest days of the angling. But the boat is getting out every day, and trying different areas to catch. Trips are blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 or 3 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Tuesday, 11/28:***</b> Better day of the fishing today aboard, Tom said. The trip’s blackfishing began very well, catching keepers and shorts. That became slower when current changed, but the fishing still picked. One angler limited out, another bagged four and others bagged three or fewer. A couple of anglers landed no keepers, but all reeled up at least throwbacks. A few sea bass and porgies were bagged, but trips are only fishing crabs for blackfish now. Previously, clams were also provided for sea bass or porgies. Green crabs are provided, and white crabs are available for sale on the boat. The two crabs seemed to catch equally. Not great fishing, but definitely better, and Tom hopes that holds up.

<b>Neptune</b>

With <b>Last Lady Fishing Charters</b>, a trip limited out on under striped bass to 40 inches Saturday on trolled Mojos, Capt. Ralph wrote in an email. The charter tried jigging and fishing with livelined bunker at the end of the day, but too many boats motored all over the bunker schools fished.  A charter blackfished Sunday, copping fair fishing “with a lot of bites,” it said, at the third drop. At the first drop, nothing bit. At the second, two keepers and one short were hooked. Individual-reservation trips will sail for: stripers Wednesday and Friday; blackfish Dec. 5, 8 and 12; and offshore wreck-fishing Dec. 9 for cod, pollock, giant sea bass, jumbo porgies and white and red hake. A few spots are left for that trip, and if weather looks too rough to run offshore, the trip will blackfish at the regular price.

<b>Belmar</b>

<b>XTC Charters</b> striped bass fished pretty much every day in the past week on the ocean, limiting out on unders on every trip, pretty much on Mojos, Capt. Scott said. A few overs, not a lot, were bagged. Striper fishing was super yesterday aboard, and finished by 9 a.m. Boaters hooked the fish everywhere. Seems the striper migration will keep pulling more of the bass to the local area, if weather and water temperature fail to change drastically. The ocean’s in the low 50 degrees, and XTC usually catches stripers until the low 40s. Scott’s hooked them in water as cold as 42. A couple of trips are booked for next week, but some dates remain available for charters. A couple of trips aboard tried blackfishing after striper fishing, but blackfishing was slow.

A trip Saturday aboard traveled farther than usual to boat striped bass, fishing south of Manasquan, but caught with <b>Celtic Stoirm Charters</b>, Capt. Mike said. The trip reeled in some there, then left that area and caught more, totaling five, including a 38-pound 43-incher. Boat traffic was horrendous at the spot south of Manasquan. Boats ran over other boats’ lines, and so on. Tournament Grade Tackle bunker spoons nailed the fish best aboard, working great. A couple of the fish were hooked on Mojos. Weekdays are probably ideal for striper fishing, if anybody wants to take a day off of work, he said. He thinks the bass will stick around, because they were still boated off Captree, N.Y., and Sandy Hook, N.J. Mike fished for blackfish with friends on Saturday, and the angling was tough. The trip fished several places and put in a long day, but there wasn’t much action.

Striped bass fishing was still excellent, said Capt. Pete from <b>Parker Pete’s Fishing Charters</b>. He and crew are excited, and the fish look like they’ll remain into December. They were still landed off New York. Trips with Parker Pete’s mostly limited out on unders. The fishing was different every day. On some days, slot stripers bit. On some, occasional overs were pumped in, depending on where the trip fished. Larger stripers held farther south, like around Seaside. But Parker Pete’s has been trying to get away from other boats, finding stripers locally, like at whales foraging on baitfish, “doing our thing,” he said. A large body of stripers was spread along the coast. Trips aboard caught on livelined bunker and on the troll. No stripers were jigged lately aboard. Smaller stripers that are jigged usually show up toward the end of the migration, though party boats were jigging stripers currently. Parker Pete’s did no blackfishing, and was busy with striper fishing. But Pete heard that blackfishing was up and down. That angling seemed to be beginning late. Only a few dates are left for striper charters in December.  Don’t have enough anglers for a charter? Contact Parker Pete’s about individual spaces with charters who want more anglers. Sign up for the email list on <a href=" http://www.parkerpetefishing.com/" target="_blank">Parker Pete’s website</a> to be kept informed about the spaces.

A few striped bass were managed Saturday on the <b>Golden Eagle</b>, but the fishing was tough, a report said on the party boat’s website. Plenty of stripers are schooling. They can be seen along the water surface, and can be read. Lots of bunker are schooling, and plenty of birds are foraging on the baitfish. But getting the stripers to bite was difficult. They’ve got to bite sooner or later, the report said. On Sunday’s trip, a few stripers and bluefish were bagged when the boat broke the inlet, and only throwback stripers were hooked the rest of the outing. No trip will sail today because of rough forecasts, and tomorrow’s trip is expected to fish. Trips are fishing for stripers and blues 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

<b>Brielle</b>

Excellent fishing for sea bass and porgies was plowed on the <b>Jamaica II</b> this past week, an email said from the party boat. Great week with full coolers, it said. Limits of both were frequently boxed, depending on weather and the day, it said. The sea bass ranged from throwbacks to 5-pounders, and the porgies weighed up to 4. More cod and pollock were hung than before on some trips, because of cooling water. Customers and their catches included: Fuming Sun, Middletown, Del., limit of sea bass, 42 porgies and two cod 14.2 and 10.4 pounds; Jake Coniglio, Brick, limit of sea bass and porgies; Christoff Oranilom, Philadelphia, limit of sea bass and 41 big porgies; and Bob Plasket, Medford, limit of sea bass to 4 pounds and 31 porgies. Trips are fishing for: 9 hours at 6 a.m. Mondays and Tuesdays; 12 hours at 5 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays; and 14 hours at 3 a.m. Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations are required for trips that will sail for 16 hours at 2 a.m. Dec. 14, 21, 28, 30 and 31.

Boaters kept angling striped bass on the ocean, said Eric from <b>The Reel Seat</b>. The fish caught to the north tended to be smaller, from throwbacks to 15 to 18 pounds. Those catches, from Shrewsbury Rocks to off Highlands Bridge, were trolled on umbrella rigs with rubber shads or were hooked on cast rubber shads or Ava jigs. Stripers to the south, from Lavallette to Seaside Heights and even farther south, were larger and were hooked on trolled Mojos and bunker spoons or on bunker snagged for bait and then livelined. Bluefish were sometimes pasted during boating for stripers. Surf fishing for stripers was fair, and the season’s been somewhat off for the angling, he guessed. But throwback stripers were definitely beached, right in the wash. Peanut bunker and a few sand eels sometimes schooled the water. The stripers from shore were nabbed on Daiwa SP Minnows in the dark or popper lures or metal-lipped swimmers with teasers in mornings and evenings. The stripers were spread out, or there was no one good concentration of them. Anglers could hit about any beach and bank a couple.  Blackfishing was slowly improving, was better than two weeks ago, for boaters on the ocean, at places like Sea Girt Reef and Shrewsbury Rocks and all usual rough bottom. Most that bit were throwbacks or just-keeper-sized, and a handful were large. A couple of 8- and 10-pounders were heard about. Blackfish were still tugged from Point Pleasant Canal and Manasquan Inlet. Sea bass were boated well 40 or 50 miles from shore. But some must’ve still held closer to the coast, because a good catch on one day was heard about from the party boat Dauntless from Point Pleasant Beach.

<b>Point Pleasant Beach</b>

<b>Mushin Sportfishing</b> focused on catching striped bass on the ocean “by any means necessary,” Capt. Alan wrote in an email. Most trips were able to liveline bunker to catch. But some trips trolled to land big stripers to 40 pounds. Maja spoons in white and Mojos in white or chartreuse connected in 50 to 65 feet of water.

“Nice weekend on the water,” a report said on the party boat <b>Norma-K III</b>’s website. Blackfishing was difficult aboard, though. Trips bounced around, fishing many wrecks, rocks and rubble, but couldn’t get the fishing going. A few, no great number, were bagged. “A few anglers did catch some,” it said. Sunday’s pool-winning blackfish weighed 9 ½ pounds, and Saturday’s weighed 8. Some spots gave up no life at all, and that seemed shocking for the time of year. Mostly green crabs caught, and white crabs latched into a few. Both have been carried aboard. “It’s looking like a great week to fish so hopefully we can get them chewing!” the report said. Trips are blackfishing 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.

Tough fishing for striped bass the last few days, a report said Saturday on the party boat <b>Gambler</b>’s website. Lots of bunker schooled with stripers chasing them, but the fish were widely spread and difficult to catch. The few stripers boated on Saturday’s trip swiped rubber shads, Krocodile spoons and Ava jigs with red tails. Water temperature’s been holding, “(so we’re) in good shape in that respect,” it said. The crew hopes the fish will bite soon. The boat is fishing for stripers 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. <b>***Update, Tuesday, 11/28:***</b> Caught some stripers Monday aboard, the boat’s Facebook page said. “(Still) not as good as it should be, according to the fish finder,” it said. “There were a few big blues … too.” Customers caught on spoons, Crippled Herring, Mojos and swim shads, and the fish fed on anchovies and bunker. Humpback whales swam around. Weather was terrific, and not a lot of boats crowded the water. Weather looks good all week for trips.  “I think there are more fish coming our way,” the report said.

<b>Seaside Heights</b>

Surf anglers struggled to beach a keeper striped bass, but ocean boaters drilled keepers, a report said on <b>The Dock Outfitters</b>’ website. A 44-1/4-pound beauty was weighed-in that was trolled on a bunker spoon. At least surf anglers knew the trophies were in the area. All that we diehard surf anglers can do is keep on trucking, the report said. It’s not over till it’s over, it added, and the surf-fishing wasn’t finished for the season. A slow pick of throwbacks to keepers were banked. Small swimming lures, popping lures and metal hooked them, and sometimes one worked better than the others. So a selection should be kept in the surf bag. Fresh bunker, salted clams, eels and green crabs were stocked. The Dock Outfitters, located on Barnegat Bay, blocks from the ocean surf, features a bait and tackle shop, a café, a dock for fishing and crabbing, boat rentals and, in season, jet-ski rentals.

<b>Forked River</b>

Customers hit striped bass well on the ocean, said Mike from <b>Grizz’s Bait & Tackle</b>. They fished from the bathing beach at Island Beach State Park to Ortley Beach with trolled MagicTail Mojos and bunker spoons. Stripers 50 and 27 pounds were weighed at the shop from the fishing. Any bluefish? A 12-pound blue was weighed-in that was trolled on the ocean. A couple of customers blackfished on the ocean, catching okay. One hauled in a 13-pounder from a wreck off Barnegat Inlet. Baits stocked include eels, green crabs and fresh bunker. A couple of bushels of fresh clams are stocked that are scarce this season.

<b>Barnegat Light</b>

Livelining bunker for striped bass went kind of slow the last few days on the <b>Super Chic</b> on the ocean, Capt. Ted said. Fair seas and weather made for busy boat traffic, and he didn’t know whether that was a reason. He’ll see how it goes now. No bluefish bit during the angling aboard, but blues were heard about that were trolled during striper fishing on other boats.

The crew would love to say striped bass fishing was awesome this Thanksgiving weekend on the <b>Miss Barnegat Light</b>, a report said on the party boat’s website. But it wasn’t. A pick of good-sized stripers to 30 pounds was had each day on livelined bunker, rubber shads and diamond jigs. Scattered stripers were read blowing through bunker on the fish finder, “but they are not in a biting mood,” the report said. The crew talked with crews from Long Island who said stripers and blues still schooled off Long Island from Jones to Shinnecock inlets. “If they move this way is up to them,” the report said. “This could be a late season … .” Trips will fish at 7 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Saturday’s trip will dock at 1 p.m. sharp, because a charter is booked for that afternoon.

<b>Barnegat</b>

“Go fishing!” Capt. Dave DeGennaro from the <b>Hi Flier</b> wrote in an email Sunday. “That’s the report. This is possibly the best fall striper troll I have ever seen. Fifteen- to 35-pound fish are on the feed. This is predominantly a troll bite anywhere from the Bathing Beach to Lavallette. White Mojos and Maja bunker spoons are working the best for us. There are tons of bunker to snag – sometimes 30 to 40 feet thick readings of bunker on the fish finder – but the snag and drop is not productive. There are a good amount of birds working and hitting the water, yet casting and jigging are not resulting in hook-ups either. The good news is that the troll bite is insane with quality-size fish. Most of our action is on the braid rods with Mojos, which is a lot of fun without the wire line involved. When we do use wire, it's our shorter rods with only 150 feet of wire, instead of the bigger rods with 300 feet. We tie a big bucktail on, tipped with pork rind, and have a guy on each side of the boat jig these while we slow troll. It works really well and is a train wreck of a hit when you hook up! The last week right up until today (Sunday) has been a quantity of quality fish every trip.” Open-boat trips will fish 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Four people max on open-boats. All fish are shared.

<b>Atlantic City</b>

A couple of striped bass trips fished the ocean with <b>Fishin’ Fever Sportfishing</b>, Capt. Tom said. The fishing was decent, and Friday’s trip landed 13. Sunday’s trip pulled in three. The trips caught the fish to 30 pounds on trolled Mojos and spoons. Between the striper trips, an outing blackfished Saturday aboard. That was great, limiting out the boat on the tautog to 8 pounds, releasing additional. The ocean on the striper grounds was 51 to 52 degrees and on the blackfish grounds was 54. Fishin’ Fever’s boat is docked at Atlantic City for striper season and will be returned to Cape May, home port, on Dec. 15. Then trips will focus on blackfish.

<b>Longport</b>

The <b>Stray Cat</b>’s been blackfishing, Capt. Mike said, and catches were a little slower Sunday, but some good-sized were out there to bag. The next room available for an open-boat trip is on Friday for the tautog. Spaces are available for an open trip for them 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on New Year’s Eve. The bag limit will be dropped to four beginning on New Year’s Day, from the current limit of six. A wave of striped bass showed up in the ocean Friday, and fishing for them was slower Saturday and Sunday. A few were still boated off Brigantine then, he thought.

<b>Ocean City</b>

Boaters picked striped bass on the ocean near the 3-mile line on the troll, said Bill from <b>Fin-Atics</b>. Striper fishing is closed beyond 3 miles from shore. Stripers were boated at the local inlets on eels or bunker chunks, and the bass were bigger in the ocean, but the inlet fishing hadn’t happened in some years previously. Small stripers still chewed in the back bay on 4- or 5-inch soft-plastic lures in white or pink or with black backs on jigheads, mostly on outgoing tides, including at night. A few stripers were eased from the surf. Blackfish still held in the bay, “believe it or not,” he said. They depart for the ocean when water becomes cold. Blackfishing was really good at Ocean City and Great Egg reefs on the ocean. Baits stocked include eels, green crabs and, when available, fresh bunker.

<b>Sea Isle City</b>

A blitz of big striped bass erupted off Townsend’s Inlet in the ocean this morning, <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>’s Facebook page said. “Report confirmed,” it said. The page earlier in the morning said unconfirmed reports said the fish blitzed off the inlet and Ocean City.

Striped bass to 50 pounds were boated Friday on the ocean with four anglers aboard, said Capt. Joe Hughes from <b>Jersey Cape Guide Service</b>, affiliated with <b>Sea Isle Bait & Tackle</b>. The migration arrived, a little later than usual. A dozen of the fish, maybe more, were reeled in on the boat. Those included a 48-incher that weighed about 50, a 44-incher and a 43-incher. A quarter of the stripers were trolled, and the rest were jigged, including the 50-pounder on 15-pound line. That was awesome, he said. Bunker schooled the water, and Joe saw no whales, but maybe whales were around that can be. No bluefish were in the mix that can be. The catches began slowly in the morning and picked up later in the day. Saturday’s fishing for the bass was tough with one angler aboard. One striper was lost at the boat. On Sunday with two anglers aboard, one 31-inch striper was trolled. Lots of boats fished the water Saturday, and hardly any did Sunday. Forecasts for rough weather might’ve been the reason, but seas turned out better than predicted Sunday, and Saturday’s seas were worse. Wind was from southwest Saturday. Wind on Sunday was from northwest and stronger, but that’s a better direction for seas on the ocean.

<b>Avalon</b>

<b>Fins and Feathers Outfitters</b> will probably fish no longer this season, Capt. Jim said. He’s gearing up for guided duck-hunting during the coastal duck season that opened on Thanksgiving and lasts through Jan. 27. He’ll also guide hunting for brant and geese. Jim just returned from deer hunting in Maryland, and will deer hunt in Pennsylvania and New York this week. Then he’ll be finished deer hunting for the year. He spoke with hunters at a duck club in Maryland who said they were hooking striped bass 28 inches on Chester River along Chesapeake Bay on clams. Striper fishing seemed on along the bay. Steelhead fishing is available on upstate New York’s Salmon River from Jim’s nearby <a href="http://www.sjlodge.com/" target="_blank">lodge</a>. A discount is available for the lodge through mid-December, but only on Airbnb. Jim will probably extend the discount until sometime in winter, and the steelheading lasts through winter and into early spring. Fins can help anglers book a guide for the steelheading, or anglers can fish on their own. Jim and crew can also show anglers how to do the fishing, then let the anglers fish on their own. Snowmobiling is popular at the lodge in winter. Fins offers a variety of outdoor adventures.

<b>Cape May</b>

A few striped bass 39 or 40 inches, good-sized, were trolled Saturday on the ocean off Atlantic City with John Jones’s charter on the <b>Heavy Hitter</b> on Mojos and spoons, Capt. George said. He canceled a charter Sunday, telling the anglers to reschedule, because of rough forecasts. But George mated for a friend’s boat on a trip for stripers that day in the same area, and the fishing was a little better. Seas were calmer than forecast that day, and the striper fishing these days seemed an afternoon bite. Saturday’s charter hooked no stripers until 1:30 p.m. George didn’t see many boats Saturday, and saw hardly any Sunday. That seemed because of the time of year, late in the season.

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